The Detroit Lions are ready to start thinking about their 2020 NFL season, and the next part of that path is the reveal of the schedule on Thursday night.
Prior to that, though, some unofficial word will be expected to leak out as it relates to who the team is playing and when next year. Here’s a look at tracking some of the more notable schedule leaks for the Lions ahead of the actual schedule reveal later Thursday night.
Bears to open season in Detroit?
Parkins, a Chicago radio personality, has leaked that the Bears could be opening in Detroit to start the season. This could throw into doubt the report of an all AFC-NFC start to the season for Detroit and the rest of the league. It would also mean no Bears-Lions redux on Thanksgiving for the third straight year, likely a welcome idea for both fanbases.
Packers-Lions in Week 2?
Silverstein, a Packers writer, believes this could happen. This would be great news for the Lions, who get to avoid a late season freeze at Lambeau Field. It would also give the team an early shot at a squad which frustrated them plenty in 2019.
Lions vs. Texans on Thanksgiving Day?
According to Vanessa Richardson, a sports reporter for NBC Houston, the Texans could head north to Detroit to take on the Lions for Thanksgiving Day. This could be the first time the sides have hooked up on this game since 2012, a loss by Detroit.
Tom Brady coming to Detroit in Week 16?
Luke Easterling sees the anticipated matchup happening near the end of the season for the Lions and Buccaneers.
Lions 2020 Schedule Difficulty Ranked
Most know the inherent difficulty the team will face within their own division, but how about from the schedule as a whole? Recently, CBS Sports looked at breaking down every team’s schedule from the hardest in the league to the easiest. Theoretically, the Lions should be sitting in a favorable spot as it relates to next season given the teams they will play.
The site and writer Jared Dubin used over-under totals from opponents to rank the 2020 schedule. What he found when it came to Detroit was a team that will have one of the easier schedules in the league this coming season. The Lions have one of the lower opponent strength of schedules in the league, which leads them to have a fairly easy schedule.
As a whole, the schedule is the 7th easiest in football for 2020. That, combined with the upgrades the Lions have made and a hopeful return to health might put even more pressure on Matt Patricia and company to have a successful season and win bigger than they have.
Naturally, even the worst of teams from 2019 have improved, so while the schedule might seem a bit lighter now, that’s not always how it works out when the games begin.
Lions Won’t Travel Internationally For 2020
Another schedule advantage for Detroit in 2020 figures to be travel. While the Lions and the rest of the league wait for the schedule release, one trip they will not make is to London. The Lions were likely to head there to play a team, most likely the Jacksonville Jaguars, but that trip won’t be happening now according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The league did indeed put a moratorium on international travel for the 2020 season.
Detroit will soon learn their schedule, and it now appears as if there won’t be an international game this year for the fans to look forward to. At the very least, that won’t mean a massive disruption to the team’s travel plans or jet lag from a long trip overseas.
Lions Opponents for 2020 Finalized
When it comes to what teams the Lions will play next season, things are known already even though the team’s schedule has not been released. Detroit finished last in the NFC North, and as a result they will play a last place schedule. The Lions will also play the AFC South and NFC South next season, in addition to their battles against every team in their division both home and away.
Here’s a look at what is known about their schedule at this point in time in terms of the teams they will play and some of the locations courtesy of FBSchedules.com
Home/away Green Bay Packers
Home/away Chicago Bears
Home/away Minnesota Vikings
@ Jacksonville Jaguars
@ Tennessee Titans
vs. Houston Texans
vs. Indianapolis Colts
@ Carolina Panthers
@ Atlanta Falcons
vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
vs. New Orleans Saints
vs. Washington Redskins
@ Arizona Cardinals
The full schedule reveal including time, dates and locations will come Thursday night. Until then, stay tuned to Heavy on Lions for all the rumored games.